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Japanese Translations Improving? Now, in Greece…..

December 28, 2002 at 2:00 pm by Tehanu  - 

An un-named Ringers spy wrote in: “I’ve read the story on the Japanese subtitles….Ha! You should check the Greek ones… where Arwen’s mortality is translated as morality, the first wolf – rider is a “boy scout”, and the translator assures us that Entmoot is definitely a place… And that is just a few…”

Meanwhile, Luinnenion wanted to clarify the subtitle situation in Japan:

The news from Japan isn’t nearly as it would seem. Here’s my translation of the notice currently on Lord of the Ring’s official Japanese language site: ———————— To Everyone Waiting For The Release of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers opened in America on 12/18/2002, and has been putting up record numbers all over the world.

With the Japanese release scheduled for late February, 2003, we would like to report on the progress of the trailers and the actual print of The Two Towers.

With regard to who will do the work on the subtitles, we would like to give an abbreviated version of the information announced on the official Lord of the Rings site in September, 2002.

1) The international trailer (3 min, 6 sec, subtitled and dubbed versions) was produced by New Line Cinema, and is being shown before the Japanese release of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, already in release. Starting from 12/21, the Japanese domestic version of the trailer (1 min, 30 sec) is being shown at the start of Gangs of New York.

It is extremely unusual to do this, but for the trailers, Ms. Akiko Tanaka (co-translator of the Japanese version of the source material) was asked to do a complete translation and Ms. Natsuko Toda was asked to create the subtitle copy from this translation.

In addition, Ms. Natsuko Toda’s subtitle copy was then checked again by Ms. Akiko Tanaka and Hyouronsha (the Japanese publisher), and then completed. For the dubbed trailers, Hyouronsha did a complete translation, and from this translation Mr. Katsushige Hirata, the same dubbing script translator as for Fellowship of the Ring, created the dubbing script. This also was re-checked by Ms. Akiko Tanaka and Hyouronsha, and then completed.

2) For the actual movie print, in mid-October, we received an English transcription of the nearly completed movie and a video tape of the movie for translation purposes. Ms. Natsuko Toda then checked the script against the video and numbered the dialogue. Hyouronsha was then asked to do a complete translation, which was checked by Ms. Akiko Tanaka.

After the final English script arrived, Hyouronsha completed the necessary adjustments to the translation, and Ms. Natsuko Toda then began the work of creating the Japanese subtitles in mid-November. As of this notice, the preliminary subtitle copy has been completed, and Ms. Akiko Tanaka and Hyouronsha have just completed their check.

Next, Ms. Natsuko Toda will consult with Ms. Akiko Tanaka and others, make the needed adjustments, and the Japanese subtitles will be added to the print in mid-January after the final corrections and adjustments have been made.

3) The dubbed version of the movie has undergone nearly an identical process; Hyouronsha has given the complete translation to Mr. Katsushige Hirata, and currently Ms. Akiko Tanaka and Hyouronsha are checking the preliminary script. The dubbed print should be completed in late January.

4) We understand that for the subtitled print, the ending “Staff & Cast” credits will contain the following:

Japanese Subtitle Print Japanese Subtitles: Natsuko Toda Subtitle Consultants: Akiko Tanaka, Hyouronsha.

The dubbed print will contain the following credits, much like Fellowship of the Ring: Translation: Mr. Katsushige Hirata, with the cooperation of Ms. Akiko Tanaka, Hyouronsha, et al.

Recently, Director Peter Jackson said in an interview on New Zealand TV that the translator would be changed for The Two Towers. However, this information comes as a complete surprise. We are currently contacting New Line Cinema in order to confirm the Director’s actual meaning, but we have yet to receive a response.

The work on the trailers and the actual movie are proceeding as per 1) and 2) mentioned above, but we will inform everyone when we get a comment or direct message from the Director.

This concludes the current report on the work being done on the movie and trailers. With everyone’s cooperation, we are endeavoring to meet all the expectations of everyone who loves The Lord of the Rings. We humbly ask that you wait just a little longer for the Japanese opening.

12/25/2002 Nippon Herald Movies, Inc./Matsutake Inc. —————————-

It seems to me that Peter Jackson merely misunderstood the situation. The translator wasn’t being replaced per se (at least, officially), but Akiko Tanaka is now doing the translation.

I think this is very good news for Lord of the Rings fans in Japan.

Thanks, Luinnenion

We also had an email from Shiots:

“After reading your news about the “shameless” Japanese translator, I feel like I have to say something in her defense. Toda Natsuko is widely acknowledged as THE best movie translator in Japan. There is no one else in the same league as her. When I saw FOTR with the Japanese subtitles, I have to admit, there were a couple of scenes where I thought the translation was way too direct. But you have to understand, the Lord of the Rings was merely a cult book in Japan before the movie was released. Toda Natsuko, like so many other Japanese people had never read the book. Threrefore, she translated the movie in a way that the audience could understand the undercurrents of each character’s thoughts, even though in the English version the lines are much subtler. So basically, what I’m trying to say is, unless a huge Japanese Tolkien fan steps up and offers to translate the movie for her, she is the most capable person for the job.”

So, there’s a few points of view here, and we’ll just have to wait and see if the latest movie is any better when it comes out. Meanwhile, if you’re seeing TTT in a subtitled/dubbed version and the translation sucks, tell us about it.- T

Posted in Old Spy Reports on December 28, 2002 by

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